For years, the struggles faced by curly-haired individuals have been overlooked in the realm of hairdressing. As a child, I was always told by hairdressers that my hair “won’t do that”, but no one was explaining what it actually COULD do.
So, I resorted to brushing, pulling, and flattening it under hats every day before school, unaware of its glorious potential. Looking back, I believe this stemmed from a lack of knowledge and understanding among hairstylists when it comes to curly hair—a problem that still persists today.
The Importance of Curly Hair Education
Having personally experienced the trauma caused by disappointing salon visits, I started cutting my own hair and later became a hairdresser and curl specialist. I can attest that individuals with curly hair are willing to pay a premium for the expertise and guidance of a curl expert. They want education and reassurance, hoping to leave the salon equipped with the skills to manage their hair effectively.
So, why isn’t curly hair education and the art of consultation an integral part of the cosmetology school curriculum?
Effective Communication and Building Trust
In all relationships, effective communication is crucial, and yet it remains an undervalued aspect of hairstyling. Through conversations with my own curly-haired clients, I have learned that listening and effective communication are paramount to a positive and trustworthy salon experience.
Active listening and the art of consulting
One question I ask on my new guest intake form (so I don’t make the same mistake) is “Why are you seeking a new stylist?”
Sadly, the answer I see over and over is “Stylists don’t listen” and “Stylists don’t understand my curly hair” or “They blow dry and flat iron my hair before cutting it” (essentially treating it like straight hair).
I’ve heard it all…
I see all of these as problems that need attention. Curly-haired people want to feel validated in their concerns and fears, they want to be heard, and they want to trust that their stylist can handle their hair and will educate them.
As stylists, we owe it to our clients to listen, communicate effectively, create a plan, and most importantly, be able to execute it. This is how we can truly deliver. Do not underestimate the value of a strong consultation and active listening. I have come to realize that people will come from near and far to seek our expertise. If you listen, execute, and make them happy, they will tell others. Reviews about this subject practically propelled my business overnight after moving cross country.
Understand that each client needs a unique curly haircut
As a curl specialist, I have discovered that every curly haircut is always unique, and the recut will be different every time. It’s essential not to fall into the “same as last time” routine because it will not be the same. Sometimes, the focus will be the length. Sometimes, it’s eliminating the triangle. Most often, it will be balancing weight and bulk.
Communicate and ask questions. A strong consultation will help you identify what is CURRENTLY problematic for them. By genuinely listening to their stories and fears, our communication is perceived as caring—a crucial factor in building trust and enhancing the value of their salon experience.
How to address your client’s fears as a hairstylist
And as an educator, I have discovered that hairdressers have a lot of fears when it comes to dealing with curly hair. Could this be why so many curly-haired individuals resorted to straightening their hair for so long? Curlcraft is working on changing that.
“Curly hair specialist near me” is searched thousands of times EVERY day, and specialists are in high demand. This is an opportunity not to be missed. Aside from skill set being the most important thing as a hairdresser, communication is also vital if you want to be a curly hair specialist or grow your curly hair clientele.
As a way to help curly-haired people everywhere, Curlcraft is educating and empowering hairstylists on curly hair cutting, styling, and the ultimate guest experience and would like to extend an offer to all hairdressers: Enjoy $50 OFF the complete course bundle using code CURLEE50.
Let’s change the curly world together!
Jo @ Curlcraft
I developed the Curlcraft cutting method after years of struggling with my own hair, realizing it made sense to approach it dry. I cut intuitively, based on French style hair cutting, taking into consideration the hairs natural movement creating haircuts that are low maintenance and easy to manage.
• I’m a hairdresser with over 35 years experience
• 15 years as a curl specialist
• Creator the Curlcraft™ haircutting method + guest experience
• Founder of Curlcraft education
• Ouidad educator in the Miami area for 3 years
• RIP City Review Best salons 2023
• Willamette Week: Best Hairstylist Winner 2022
• Mane Addicts: Top U.S. Salons for Curly Hair
• Expertise.com: Top 20 Hair Salons in Portland
• Best pros in town: Top salons
• Contributor to Curl magazine
• I am a hair sculptor!